Charlie Nicholas states prediction for Arsenal v Reading

The former Arsenal playmaker is backing Olivier Giroud to score against Reading

Charlie Nicholas is backing Olivier Giroud to score in a comfortable Arsenal victory over Reading in the League Cup on Tuesday night.

The France international has been handed a watching brief from the substitutes’ bench for most of the 2016-17 Premier League season so far.

Arsene Wenger has utilised Alexis Sanchez in a centre-forward role in the current campaign – the Chile international has scored four goals and has made three assists in nine Premier League games.

However, former Arsenal midfielder Nicholas believes the France striker will get a run out alongside January signing Mohamed Elneny and Jeff Reine-Adelaide at the Emirates Stadium on Tuesday night.

“Arsenal have got the strongest squad in Premier League. The sort of players who come in here are experienced and should be ready to step up for the first team and seize on a disappointing result at the weekend,” Nicholas told Sky Sports.

“Olivier Giroud will probably get a run out and you’ve also got Lucas Perez, Kieran Gibbs, David Ospina, Rob Holding and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who is looking more influential.

“There’s a few I’d like to see get a chance. One is the boy Jeff Reine-Adelaide, who I’ve only seen glimpses of but looks like he could be the next Alex Iwobi, and Mohamed Elneny is another one.

“Reading are still learning under Jaap Stam and I see no excuses for the Gunners, who will still have plenty of experience, so I’m expecting those who disappointed at the weekend to be pushed for their places in a comfortable win.”

Arsenal played out a frustrating goalless draw with Middlesbrough in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon.

However, Arsene Wenger’s side are still in second place in the table and level on points with leaders Manchester City.

The Gunners will make the trip to the Premier League’s basement club Sunderland in their next top-flight outing at the Stadium of Light.

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